2005 Meursault

2005 Domaine Xavier Monnot Meursault Les Chevalieres
White Wine; Chardonnay; Burgundy;
$62.49
  Add to Cart
$53.11 per bottle with mix/match case discount.
I don’t often write about white Burgundy in these Sunday emails. Mostly because I like to feature wines under $30, under $20, and under $15. However, sometimes a wine is so blatantly worth it that I bend the rules.People talk about Burgundian Chardonnay as different from the rest of the world’s wines, driven by mineral, but with weight, but with acidity, but with power, but with finesse. They speak of it as the realization of paradox. As with every wine region and their mythologies, this is how great white Burgundy acts, not necessarily what you can expect out of every bottle produced there. If you are searching for this sort of dynamism in this region, wine that gives you clarity and precision foiled by richness and length, or the other way around, welcome Xavier Monnot. He is a controversial figure who speaks his mind, who controls yields by removing flowers not by green harvest, who uses less oak, who does not believe in huge extraction in his red wines, who actually seems to believe in terroir as a reality not a marketing term. If you read these emails, you know this guy is right up my alley.

I first encountered these wines as barrel samples at the domaine in Meursault. They woke me up, palate, mind and perspective. The whites were fresh, nervy and mineral, and the reds were pure and Pinot. As style went, they were different than much of what I tasted on the trip. The thought occurred that they may be more Burgundy than others, but that’s a dangerous statement when you are surrounded by vignerons and tasters who all have very strong opinions. I kept my thoughts to myself, as my curiosity was piqued, but I wasn’t ready declare one way or the other based on a set of barrel samples. I did talk to David about them, and we wondered how this came to be. This domaine of noble ideals, that eschews oak in favor of clarity, extraction in favor of purity of fruit. I got my second glimpse from a travel shocked, just off the boat sample, and I started to feel more confident that I knew what Monnot was doing. I liked it. But it wasn’t until later when I took a bottle of this Meursault Chevalieres home with me, that I really got it. It had rested in bottle for a few months and put on weight. I spent a good portion of the next hour or so, ignoring everything around me while I explored all the layers the wine was proposing. That’s an annoying way to be when people are trying to talk to you, but every once in a while I synergize with a wine like that. And this email wrote itself right then and there.

I’m recommending this wine because I find it inspirational in the context of the many laments and complaints of the internationalization of wine. I’m also recommending it because I found it to be a beautiful expression of Chardonnay. I’m recommending it because as I drank it, I was able to say with confidence: This is white Burgundy. This is Meursault. This is Chevalieres. And I find that extremely exciting. – Ben Jordan

2005 Domaine Xavier Monnot Meursault Les Chevalieres
White Wine; Chardonnay; Burgundy;
$62.49
  Add to Cart
$53.11 per bottle with mix/match case discount.

Tasting Notes
To break this down into flavors and impressions doesn’t do the overall experience justice, but I will devote a sentence to something resembling specific notes. There’s a lovely play between the structure, the mineral, the sweet corn and lees character, the citrus and orchard fruit, and the cream of the mouthfeel. There is a sense of harmony and completeness, and it’s kind of contagious. If I were a communist leader trying to get a foothold in a capitalist country, I would pour this at rallies, and I would send samples to those who could help my cause. I would say, “See how the components all work together for betterment of the whole? This is no idealistic dream! If wine can do it, are we so crazy to think that our people can too? It can work, I say!” If you prize fat and butter, this is something different, but I’ll bet you still like it. It’s one of those wines whose style may be counter to what some people usually prefer (fat and butter mentioned above), but if they drank it, they would find themselves reaching for more. It’s one of those wines to change minds.

If you are a communist leader wondering whether we will ship to your country or if you would like to place an order please email our main contact at winehouse@sbcglobal.net. Other commentary please email me at ben.winehouse@sbcglobal.net.

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